Adult ADHD and Clutter:Tips to Conquer

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

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Clutter and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)!  Two words that do not really pair well together.

Life is so busy and many things often just can’t get done, and before you know it you have clutter throughout.

“The problem is that internal mental clutter becomes external physical clutter,” explains Jane Massengill, LCSW, a certified master ADHD coach in Danville, Calif. “Adults with ADHD need to learn how get out of their heads and focus on the here and now.”

So how do you deal with clutter especially if you have ADHD? Let’s take a look a some ways that can help.

Chore Chaos – When you have ADHD, the solution to successfully accomplishing these tasks is a combination of a day planner, calendar, sticky notes, and notes to self. Write down and schedule each errand or chore for a specific time period during your day.

Laundry Labors- Wet laundry left in the washing machine, or loads of dry clothes that need to be folded…sound familiar?” The solution is to finish what you start before going on to something else,” Massengill says. “Place your attention in the present time and break down your day into small one-thing-at-a-time bites.”

Cooking Calamities – Have you ever put a pot on the stove and left really quick to go do something else and then you smell that burning pot? Focus on one thing at a time. Practicing time management strategies can help you overcome these ADHA symptoms and keep you focused. “Every adult with ADHD can benefit from setting a time limit for a task,” advises Massengill. If you want to take 10 minutes for an e-mail or phone call, set a timer.

Cleaning up the house clutter – “It can help to think of attention like a flashlight beam, and bring that beam into focus on the task at hand,” cites Massengill. Figure out how long your house cleaning takes, plan for that amount of time, and then focus on it until you’re finished.

Streamlined Shopping – Have you ever come home with things you don’t really need? Adding to your clutter, and then have to go back to the store for the one thing you went shopping for in the first place?  Try this ADHD tip to shop successfully: Make a list before you go, take cash only, bring a calculator so you can keep a running total, and stay out of stores where you tend to spend extra money.

Digging out your desk – ADHD disorganization can lead to a cluttered desk. “Think color coding,” Massengill suggests. “You need to develop a basic organizational system. If not color coding, try big bins to separate and conquer paperwork.”

Cluttered mind – “When your head starts to feel fuzzy, you are probably in the future or the past and not the present,” Massengill says. “When that happens, it’s time to slow down, take some deep breaths, and focus. You need to decide what to keep and what to let go of inside your mind and outside in the world around you. Clutter is physical and mental. Take care of the mental, and the physical will follow.”

Source:  “ADHD – How to Conquer Clutter”,

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